LaCie Rugged RAID Pro 4TB Review: A Tough HDD Built for Speed

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Are you a photographer or videographer who is constantly on the go, traveling to get your next great shot? Do you need a somewhat fast, high capacity portable storage device for your work, or are you the type that prioritizes data safety over speed? Either way, LaCie’s Rugged RAID Pro could be just what you are looking for.

Built to resist the elements and the occasional accident or two, the Rugged RAID Pro is an external HDD that combines LaCie’s Rugged durability with RAID functionality. Configured in RAID 0, the Rugged RAID Pro allows video editors to edit 4K video and transfer those large video files faster than any typical external HDD. In this configuration, it achieved its rated 250MB/s read/write specs and even outpaced the Kingston HyperX Savage EXO SSD during some of our file transfer testing.

Migrating to RAID 1 enables redundancy for those who want to lean more on the safe side. This, however, comes at the cost of performance and usable capacity. Read/write speeds will be limited to ~125MB/s (at best) and you will only have half the usable space of RAID 0.

Using the drive in JBOD mode does provide a bit more performance than RAID 1, but only slightly. And then you lose out on data redundancy and are probably just better off grabbing two external 2TB (or even 4TB HDDs) instead for a fraction of the cost. But that defeats the purpose of this type of device in the first place, which is to have two drives in a single, compact and portable enclosure.

The Rugged RAID Pro is very versatile with so many configuration options and connectivity that will work with any USB-compatible system and those with the latest Thunderbolt 3 support. We just wish our non-USB-C ports could power it without the need for the external power brick, but that won’t be an issue for most users. Most newer laptops feature USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity with enough juice to power the drive, but they don’t all feature SD card slots. That makes the integrated UHS-II SD card slot especially useful and simplifies backing up content in the field.

While it is on the pricey side, LaCie’s Rugged RAID Pro isn’t too overpriced considering its market placement and the peace of mind of data redundancy. LaCie includes one month of all Adobe apps for free, a $79.49 value. More importantly, the drive comes with three years of free data recovery protection. That service can (at times) cost thousands of dollars.

If you are a creative professional in the market for an external HDD, be sure to check this drive out. There aren't many competitors: Most other HDD solutions are much larger, and flash-based SSDs don’t yet offer similarly-priced capacity, nor the same value-adds. The LaCie Rugged RAID Pro 4TB has a unique blend of features and accessories that make it easy to use and quite the versatile travel companion.

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Sean Webster
Storage Reviewer

Sean is a Contributing Editor at Tom’s Hardware US, covering storage hardware.